The other golden gate bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. The structure is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and of the United States. It has been declared one of the modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

It was designed and built by Joseph Strauss who has been described as an ambitious but dreamy engineer and poet.

I wonder if he ever dreamed of this convergence of pipes and poles and wires I found in my neighborhood.

Every elephant needs a job!

Despite the availability of modern, synthetic brushes the traditional handmade brush has retained its popularity here in the Republic of Georgia, so much so that virtually every household has at least one and usually more. 

We have several, some for indoors and some for the yard. When they wear out I re-cycle them!

You can buy them everywhere but you don’t have to leave your home to do so because the ladies who sell brushes come to your door!

Tall person took this picture of brushes outside a shop when we were on a walk. You will notice that they are tied up.

Brushes are very popular with dogs here because they are great to chew but dogs don’t have money so this shop owner has tied the brushes to an albino elephant’s trunk to stop dogs running off with them.

Hmm, I suppose every elephant needs a job.

De bought two brushes several days ago. They cost 3 lari each (equivalent to $1.79).

The tall person said that it was good that De bought two because she will be able to sweep twice as fast but De said no, they now have one brush each!

De is very smart!

We are open for tall person

As far as I know, the tall person is the only foreigner in our neighborhood and because we walk a lot he is quite well known.

Children often practice their English on him and wherever we walk we often hear cries of ‘hello’ and ‘how are you’ and ‘goodbye’.

Everyone is friendly and very patient when he asks for something in the shops but sometimes he has to resort to sign language or other ways to make himself understood.

He wanted to buy a hot water bottle recently and the shop assistant could not understand, so he drew a picture! He must be a very good artist because he came home with a lovely blue hot water bottle.

Anyway, a new bread and pastry shop has opened in our neighborhood. We passed it today on our walk. The owner must know about the tall person because he or she has very thoughtfully made an ‘open’ sign in both Georgian and English.

It’s Christmas Day (again)

Eastern Orthodox Churches mark Christmas according to the old calendar, two weeks after Western churches.

So today is Christmas Day here in the Republic of Georgia.

Mass walks, called Alilo (a modified pronunciation of Alleluia), take place in cities, towns, and villages throughout Georgia.

Banner-carrying priests lead the processions, and men, women and children follow. Dressed as shepherds, soldiers, famous religious figures, or wearing traditional Georgian clothes, they collect gifts for charities.

Many children go on the Alilo march and are given sweets by grown ups.

Holy liturgies were conducted in all Orthodox Churches throughout the country late last night.

His Holiness, Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II conducted Holy liturgy in the Saint Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi.

As well as celebrating Christmas twice I will also be celebrating the New Year twice! As in many orthodox countries Georgia celebrates New Year on the 1st and 14th of January. The New-Year that is celebrated on 14th of January is called the “Old New-Year”.

Lucky me!

Paint my picture mister!

You may remember that there is a small colony of artists at one end of Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi.

They sit at their easels surrounded by their colorful paintings of old Tbilisi and portraits of beautiful Georgian women in traditional dress. 

They paint from memory or imagination as they cannot see any of the scenes they paint from their sidewalk studio.

Their pictures are displayed at the edge of the sidewalk and passers-by pause to admire and sometimes buy.

This artist has painted several pictures of Tbilisi in winter but I noticed he is working on a painting of a sunny scene, perhaps it helps to keep him warm because it is very cold today.